Jose Mourinho turned on Manchester United’s forwards after they gifted Anderlecht a draw in their Europa League quarter-final first leg and accused them of not taking the game seriously.
Jesse Lingard hit the post and Paul Pogba finished tamely either side of Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s opener before Leander Dendoncker levelled in the 86th minute.
Marcus Rashford was arguably United’s outstanding performer and claimed an indirect assist for Mkhitaryan’s goal but Mourinho criticised his and three teammates’ lack of ruthlessness.
When asked what he made of Rashford’s performance, Mourinho told BT Sport: “The same as the others. Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Anthony Martial. I think they were very similar.”
Not killing the game off, not finishing the tie?
“We have to kill matches, we have chances, we have control, we don’t score goals, you risk,” Mourinho told BT Sport. “You saw the same as I saw, don’t ask me to go too far but lots of space to play, lots of space to kill, good chances, lots of half chances but a bad decision, a bad control, a sloppy touch, a flick, very bad decisions in the last third.
“And then the team with a good organisation, very well, very compact, Marcos [Rojo], Eric [Bailly], [Matteo] Darmian, very solid, Michael Carrick, but then one chance or one mistake and you are punished.”
Carrick described United as ‘sloppy’ in attack and Mourinho agreed.
“I think maybe it’s the right word in my poor English,” he added. “I cannot find a better word.
“I think you have to play more seriously, you put all together the performance of two, three or four of our attacking players, and you squeeze not much juice out of it.
“The people behind, very solid, very focused and if I was one of my defenders I would be very disappointed because they had the serious work and the people that had to kill the game didn’t.
“It’s a valuable goal and result, we start the game at Old Trafford and are in front but we had all the conditions to kill the game today.”